Obituaries » Joan Wirtschafter Isen
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October 12, 1920 - July 12, 2016
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Our Ma Joan
October 12, 1920 – July 12, 2016
Joan was born and lived in Trenton, New Jersey, until the age of 19. Like many families during the Great Depression, Joan’s family moved west to California. Joan graduated from UCLA and, through mutual relatives, met her lifelong sweetheart and husband Julian to whom she was married for nearly 70 years. During World War II, Joan taught elementary school in San Pedro while Julian was based at Fort MacArthur. Joan cherished her role as a homemaker after her children John and Julie were born and was active with school and community activities. Additionally, she served as a volunteer at Helping Hand for 46 years.
Joan was adored by family and friends of all ages, who recognized her unassuming, genuine kindness and zest for life. She was able to adapt and enjoy every stage of her life, even making multiple plane trips cross country in her 90s for family gatherings. Joan’s only unfulfilled wishes were to dance with grandson Adam at his upcoming wedding in October and to live to see a woman elected president in November.
Predeceased by her husband Julian, Joan is survived by: her children, John Isen (Shirley) and Julie Sackman (Ken); grandchildren Caryn (Brian), Joshua (Danielle), Lara (Randy) and Adam (Sarena); and great-grandchildren, Luc, Reed, Paige and Marley.
Services will be held on Friday, July 15, at 1 pm at Hillside Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Helping Hand of Los Angeles (address: Helping Hand, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Room 2605, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048).